4 Shifts Campaign

Weekly Action - 30 May 2024 - UK Election 1: Green and Fair Economy

 

Green and fair economy in the UK election

One week on from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announcing the date of the UK’s next general election as 4 July, and all the political parties are in full campaigning mode.  Last week’s Arise weekly blog considered how Christians should approach voting in the election.  It explored why as Christians it is crucial for us to be involved, and to vote for the party that we feel most closely reflects God’s standards for establishing social justice, ensuring prosperity, eliminating poverty, caring for all in society and restoring the environment.  This week we begin the first of two weekly actions looking at specific areas to raise with candidates in the run up to the election. 

We start by considering the economy.  As has often been noted, most elections are won or lost depending on which party voters feel they can most trust to run the economy.  As President Bill Clinton famously once remarked when asked what the key issue was, ‘It’s the economy stupid’.  And there are certainly many challenges with the UK (and indeed the global) economy at present.  Whilst unemployment is low, many newer jobs are low paid with poor terms and conditions.  The cost of living remains high for many ordinary people, with growing inequality.  Even many in fulltime employment are struggling to pay rent, buy homes or put food on the table.  Public services like healthcare, education and the police remain increasingly stretched and under pressure.  And of course there is the enormous challenge of rapidly transitioning the economy to be green and sustainable, powered by renewable energy and not consuming natural resources in an unsustainable fashion.  The UK, and indeed every nation, is well behind where they need to be in this economic transition if we are to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.  The economy is a huge challenge for whichever party comes to power.  But definitely not an insurmountable one.

 

4 Shifts economics

In the face of such economic challenges, what do we as Christians have to offer?  Well, if we turn back to the teaching of the Bible, and examine the lessons from history, we find there is much we can learn to help the UK, and the whole world, build an economy in the twenty-first century that is green and fair.  Arise’s 4 Shifts Report attempts to capture these key lessons.  It finds that 4 essential shifts are needed.  1) Nations need to develop strong and fair national economies to create jobs and wealth.  2) They can then tax these to provide social spending and basic services like healthcare and education, to ensure all benefit, not just the richest in society.  3) Going forward these economies need to be powered by 100% clean renewable energy to avoid global climate change.  4) They also need to be circular economies that reuse precious natural resources rather than overconsume and dump them.  Through 4 Shifts the economic challenges that the political parties are wrestling with can be answered, based on Biblical principles.  Our UK (and our global) economy can be rewired to be green and fair, so it works for everyone not just those at the top, and so that it creates the jobs and wealth that lift people out of poverty, but does so without relying on fossil fuels and overconsumption which is wrecking our planet. 

Will you take action as part of Arise’s 4 Shifts Campaign this week, and tell the political parties that the answers they are searching for can be found in approaches like 4 Shifts economics?

 

Take Action

Speak out in advocacy

Search online to find the candidates that are standing for election as MP in your constituency.  Contact them via social media or go along to one of their events and ask them whether they will support 4 Shifts economic approaches of building a thriving economy whilst caring for all and for creation.  Share a link to the 4 Shifts Report with them.  Have a quick look at the summary of the report to help you frame questions to them at an event.

Pray

Pray for the election, that there will be a good turnout.  Pray that people will vote for the party they feel most likely to work to establish social justice, ensure prosperity, eliminate poverty, care for all in society and restore the environment.  Pray that the government that comes in will follow principles like 4 Shifts economics in their economic policies. 

Practical Action

Get involved in the decision-making by joining a political party, and in due course running for office at local or even national level.  Use your position within that party to advocate for policies that establish social justice, eliminate poverty, restore the environment and build God’s Kingdom.

Give

If you consider joining a political party, consider also giving to them.  Political parties need funding to support their campaigns.

Ethical Consumption

Buy products and services from companies that are already modelling 4 Shifts principles of care for the environment, supporting the poorest and reducing inequality, like those with the Fairtrade or Living Wage marks.

 

Encourage us and others by letting us know what actions you have taken – message us at info@ariseuk.org, or via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

 

Find out more

It’s great to take this action as individual Christians, but even better to come together with others to pray, discuss, worship, learn, have fun and take action together.  Contact Arise if you are interested in joining or starting a local Arise group in your church or area.  If you are already in an Arise group, take this action to your wider church, and get them all to do it too.

Find out more about why the world needs 4 Shifts to transition to a green and fair global economy in Arise’s 4 Shifts Report, and how this forms part of God’s bigger vision for our world in the Arise Manifesto.

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